Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Maximize the amount of Aeroplan Miles you earn on eats and drinks by using the American Express Cobalt Card

There are several, if not many reasons why the American Express Cobalt Card is ranked the number one travel rewards credit card in Canada. One of those reasons is the card's earn rate on eats and drinks, that is groceries, restaurants, bars etc. It earns a whopping 5 points per dollar in the category in Canada and Worldwide. Another reason why is that you can then convert those points to the Marriott Bonvoy program. The conversion rate is 1 American Express Membership Rewards point to 1.2 Marriott Bonvoy Points. The beauty of Marriott Bonvoy is that those points can then be further converted to miles in over 40 different airline programs. One of those programs is one of Canada's most popular programs, Aeroplan.  Points transfer at a ratio of 3:1 from Marriott to Aeroplan.

When you convert Marriott Bonvoy points to Aeroplan you'll want to try to do so at 60,000 points at a time. Why? Well, Marriott Bonvoy will give you an additional 5,000 miles each time you do so. That means those 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points will net you 20,000 Aeroplan Miles (3:1) plus the 5,000 miles for a total of 25,000 Aeroplan miles.

Circling back to the start with the Cobalt Card allowing transfers to Marriott a 1 to 1.2 ratio means 50,000 Membership Rewards Select points would get you the 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points required. And seeing that the card earns 5 points per dollar on eats and drinks means you only need to spend $10,000 on the card to get the 25,000 Aeroplan Miles or 2.5 Aeroplan Miles per dollar spent. There is only one other card that can top that earn rate and it is only on dining - no groceries and that is also an Amex card. That card is The Platinum Card earns 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar on dining. Those convert to Aeroplan 1:1 so its earn rate is 3 Aeroplan Miles per dollar but the card also comes with a $699 annual fee versus the $120 ($10 per month) on the Cobalt Card so you can see where there could be a potential trade off between the cards. In an ideal world you would have both cards in your wallet to maximize your Aeroplan earning but for most Canadians the reality is the Cobalt Card is the way to go due to that annual fee difference and the additional miles earned on grocery store purchases.

On top of this, if you plan your points transfers out wisely you can earn even more Aeroplan Miles. Several times per year Aeroplan will give you a bonus when you convert hotel points into the program. For example, at the time of posting this article Aeroplan was offering a 35% bonus when you convert Marriott Bonvoy Points.

This boosts that 60,000 points to 25,000 miles example to 33,750 miles or 3.375 Aeroplan Miles per dollar spent on the Cobalt Card. That's a pretty amazing earn rate!

So if you are someone who collects Aeroplan Miles and the program is one of your mainstays you should really consider adding this card to your portfolio to maximize the amount of miles you can earn on all your eats and drinks. Oh and for those who say that Amex isn't well accepted so it makes it tough to use the card so why bother - well you'll be surprised at how many places do. Check out our resources such as the American Express Cobalt Card Confirmed Multiplier Locations feature where the Rewards Canada community has come together to provide a list of locations around the world that accept the cards as well as our Step by step guide to the American Express Shop Small Program a map feature from Amex that allows you to see all the non-major retailers that accept their cards across Canada.

Find out more about and apply for the American Express Cobalt Card here.

American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link.

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